Lewis Hamilton Is the 2017 Formula 1 World Champion
With two races to go, this year’s championship is sealed.
Despite a first lap puncture, Lewis Hamilton succeeded in recovering to finish P9 at today's Mexican Grand Prix, attaining enough points to mathematically lock out Sebastian Vettel from title contention, to take the 2017 Formula 1 World Drivers' Championship. His team, Mercedes, secured the Constructors' title last week in Austin, at the United States Grand Prix, which Hamilton also won. Some speculated he could win the title in Austin, but he dismissed that notion as "silly." Hamilton now joins the four-title club, which only he, Sebastian Vettel, and Alain Prost are a part of. Only Juan Manuel Fangio and Michael Schumacher have more titles, with five and seven respectively.
Hamilton triumphs over contending Ferrari driver Sebastian Vettel, who started the season stronger than Hamilton, winning three of the season's opening six races, in light of Mercedes' difficulties with setup and tire temperature management earlier in the year, but a combination of errors and reliability issues kneecapped his chances at the title this year. Vettel also lost many fans this season due to his behavior at the European Grand Prix in Baku, where he deliberately sideswiped Hamilton, soliciting one of the season's most severe penalties: a ten second stop-and-go.
Though the championship fight is over for the season, two Grands Prix remain: Brazil, and Abu Dhabi. Even with no title up for grabs, every driver will continue to perform for either personal reasons, or to escalate their team's finishing position in the constructors' championship, in the name of prize money.
And though this season is not over, everyone is already looking to the promising prospects for the 2018 season. Plenty of driver, team personnel, and engine supply changes point to next year being potentially more exciting than this one. To quote legendary motorsport commentator, Murray Walker, "anything can happen in Formula 1, and it usually does."